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Investigations Insider H1 2021

Leveraging our White Collar/Investigations team's collective knowledge to bring you insightful commentary on fraud, financial crime and regulatory risks from around the world.

4 min read


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Highlights from this edition of White & Case's Investigations Insider:

  • While it may be some time before we see the effects of a coordinated, inter-agency approach to tackling fraud and corruption, we expect to see an increase in enforcement action during the Biden administration, given the President's recognition of international corruption as a national security threat and the administration's pledge to "promote good governance; bring transparency to the United States and global financial systems; prevent and combat corruption at home and abroad; and make it increasingly difficult for corruption actors to shield their activities." 
  • The US was considered the world leader in anti-bribery legislation with the introduction of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, but ten years ago this was superseded by the UK Bribery Act, which became the anti-bribery and corruption gold standard because it not only targeted the payment of bribes to foreign public officials, but also those in the private sphere, and it made passive bribery an offence. It also imposed strict liability on corporates for failing to prevent bribery by a person 'associated' with it. In a three-part series, we reflect on the Act's achievements as a pioneering instrument in the international effort to combat bribery and corruption and consider how the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery will shape the debate on corporate criminal liability in the years to come.
  • The surge in popularity of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies—known as SPACs—and the volatility created by "meme stock" investing (via certain online subreddit communities) is drawing the attention of various regulators. We briefly examine the white collar risks for participants in SPAC-related transactions and the anticipated response from FINRA, the US SEC and the US DOJ. 
  • The digitization and technological transformation of global business has led to a noticeable increase in both the prevalence and sophistication of cyber fraud. Our global cybersecurity response team has created an online resource that outlines the key steps in cyber risk management and the resulting legal issues that may arise should your company fall prey to this type of criminal activity. 


More Aggressive White Collar Enforcement Expected Under the Biden Administration 

The first 100 days of President Biden’s administration, not least its appointments to key leadership positions, suggest that it will investigate and pursue white collar cases much more aggressively than the Trump administration, during which white collar fines and prosecutions significantly declined. Read full article here.

Reflections on the UK Bribery Act: Successes, shortcomings and legacy

On 1 July 2021, it will have been 10 years since the Bribery Act came into force, and it is widely considered to have been a pioneering piece of legislation. In addition to having raised the standard for anti-bribery and corruption law globally, the Act has profoundly influenced the attitude of organisations to compliance. We explore the Act's successes, shortcomings and legacy across a series of articles, with the first considering the Act's key achievements. Read full article here



EU Public Prosecutor's Office Launches Operations

On June 1, 2021, the European Public Prosecutor's Office ("EPPO") launched its operations as an independent public prosecution office tasked with investigating and prosecuting economic crimes against the financial interests of the European Union ("EU").

How SPACs Can Manage the Risks of White Collar Scrutiny

Notwithstanding the economic difficulties following the pandemic, 2020 saw a huge increase in initial public offerings ("IPOs") and merger activity relating to "SPACs" (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies).

The Workplace of the Future: Ensuring Compliance Is Not a Remote Concept in the New Normal of Remote Working

For many businesses, a year since the start of the first lockdown has been a year of operating either entirely or partially remotely.

Cybersecurity: Legal implications and risk management

In an increasingly interconnected world, cyber risk is firmly at the top of the boardroom agenda, and having an effective data breach response programme is no longer optional.

China Increases Penalties For Private Sector Bribery

China’s most recent amendment to its Criminal Law updates the sentencing framework for non-state functionaries charged with corruption. 

The Inherent Challenge of Thwarting Trade-Based Money Launderin‪g‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

White & Case partner, Jonah Anderson, a specialist White Collar partner based in our London office, recently appeared on ‘Fraud Eats Strategy’.

First Circuit Rejects DOJ's Expansive View of Wire Act

On the first day of the Biden administration, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit confirmed that state-run intrastate online lotteries may continue to operate, consistent with the US Department of Justice's guidance during the Obama administration, which the DOJ had withdrawn and reversed in 2018.

Patriot Act Subpoenas: Reinvigorated and Reaching Across Borders

The override of former President Trump's veto of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 resulted in the enactment of broad amendments to the US anti-money laundering regime.



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This article is prepared for the general information of interested persons. It is not, and does not attempt to be, comprehensive in nature. Due to the general nature of its content, it should not be regarded as legal advice.

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